Download PDF by Philip C. Plait: Bad astronomy: misconceptions and misuses revealed, from

By Philip C. Plait

ISBN-10: 0471409766

ISBN-13: 9780471409762

Encouraged through his renowned website,, this primary ebook by way of Plait (astronomy, Sonoma country Univ.) debunks well known myths and misconceptions in terms of astronomy and promotes technology as a method of explaining our mysterious heavens. The paintings describes 24 universal astronomical fallacies, together with the ideals that the Coriolis impression determines the path that water drains in a bath and that planetary alignments may cause catastrophe in the world. the writer sharply and convincingly dismisses astrology, creationism, and unidentified flying object sightings and explains the foundations in the back of easy common techniques (the immense Bang, why the sky is blue, etc.). although a few may possibly locate him strident, Plait succeeds brilliantly simply because his transparent and comprehensible factors are convincing and sincere. this primary quantity in Wileys «Bad technological know-how» sequence is suggested for all libraries, specifically astronomy and folklore collections.

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Extra resources for Bad astronomy: misconceptions and misuses revealed, from astrology to the moon landing 'hoax'

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Warm ocean water feeds the system, making it stronger. As the air gets closer to the center it moves faster, like an ice skater who spins faster when she draws in her arms. If the winds can gain in strength and blow at a hundred or more kilometers per hour, it becomes a hurricane (or a typhoon if it’s in the Pacific ocean). All that, from that tiny deflection you can’t even feel in a car! Does this sound familiar? Sure! It’s the same idea that Peter McLeary uses to explain why water swirls the way it does when he gives his demonstration in Kenya.

Mine came from Mancelona, Michigan. Science is about asking, why? and, why not this way? Sometimes you need to think around the problem. For example, if the spring equinox is special, isn’t the autumnal one special, too? They are both basically the same, yet you never hear about people trying to stand eggs on end in September. Even better, the seasons are opposite in the northern and southern hemispheres; when it’s spring in one it’s fall in the other and vice versa. But people usually don’t think of these things.

If blue light is being scattered out of the direct sunlight hitting our eyes, the resulting color should look yellowish. While it’s true that some blue light is scattered away, not enough of it is scattered to make the Sun very yellow. Even though a lot of blue photons are scattered away from the Sun to make the sky look blue, it’s only a fraction of the total blue photons from the Sun. Most of them come straight to your eye, unimpeded by air molecules. So the relatively small number of 46 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON photons making the sky blue doesn’t really affect the intrinsic color of the Sun enough to notice.

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Bad astronomy: misconceptions and misuses revealed, from astrology to the moon landing 'hoax' by Philip C. Plait

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